Former US Officials Urge Kerry to Defy Israel’s ‘Politically And Morally Unacceptable’ Terms

John Glaser, April 09, 2014

There are few who deny that there is an acceptable range of opinion in official Washington on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and another range of opinion which lies outside of it. The latter range refers mostly to any direct criticism of Israel or legitimizing any Palestinian perspective on the conflict.

Some voices manage to argue positions outside the “acceptable range” without being called an anti-Semite or a terrorist. In this case, six former U.S. officials (emphasis on the former) have written a piece in Politico that is a must-read.

Former national security adviser Zbigneiw Brzezinski, former U.S. secretary of defense Frank Carlucci, former chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Lee Hamilton, former U.S. trade representative Carla A. Hills, former under secretary of state for political affairs Thomas Pickering, and president of the U.S./Middle East Project Henry Siegman make several recommendations to John Kerry in the current negotiations. They call Israel’s policies of occupation and settlement in Palestinian territory “confiscation” and they describe Netanyahu’s demands as “politically and morally unacceptable.”

Here are the first two issues they cover:

SettlementsU.S. disapproval of continued settlement enlargement in the Occupied Territories by Israel’s government as “illegitimate” and “unhelpful” does not begin to define the destructiveness of this activity. Nor does it dispel the impression that we have come to accept it despite our rhetorical objections. Halting the diplomatic process on a date certain until Israel complies with international law and previous agreements would help to stop this activity and clearly place the onus for the interruption where it belongs.

Palestinian incitement: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s charge that various Palestinian claims to all of historic Palestine constitute incitement that stands in the way of Israel’s acceptance of Palestinian statehood reflects a double standard. The Likud and many of Israel’s other political parties and their leaders make similar declarations about the legitimacy of Israel’s claims to all of Palestine, designating the West Bank “disputed” rather than occupied territory. Moreover, Israeli governments have acted on those claims by establishing Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank. Surely the “incitement” of Palestinian rhetoric hardly compares to the incitement of Israel’s actual confiscations of Palestinian territory. If the United States is not prepared to say so openly, there is little hope for the success of these talks, which depends far more on the strength of America’s political leverage and its determination to use it than on the good will of the parties.

The second two issues they tackle relate to Israel’s absurd security demands which would essentially continue the occupation in perpetuity and Israel’s call for the Palestinian side to recognize Israel as “the national homeland of the Jewish people.” On the latter issue, the Palestinians already recognized the legitimacy of the state of Israel in 1988 and again in 1993. This fulfilled Israel’s demands at the time, but once the Palestinians agreed to it, Israeli policy then shifted to something they were sure Palestinians wouldn’t cave on. Like with Israel’s demands to continue to occupy the Jordan Valley, their negotiating tactics are designed to provoke Palestinian rejection and thus a breakdown in talks.

I emphasized that these were former U.S. officials because that seems to be the only time people in government dare utter a perspective contrary to Israel’s right-wing; that is, when domestic politics is no longer a factor. This makes John Kerry’s concurrence unlikely in the extreme.




17 Responses to “Former US Officials Urge Kerry to Defy Israel’s ‘Politically And Morally Unacceptable’ Terms”

  1. I am an American. I don't give a flying whosini about the 6 million Jews in 'Israel' or the 5 million Palestinians in the Gaza or the West Bank and occupied 'terrortories'. American foreign policy should not be held hostage to 11 million nutcases. America's national security interests are not well served by our current foreign policy in the region. American taxpayers are getting screwed.
    I am sick of zionist propaganda and aspirations to the biblical borders of eretz israel. 90% of the jews in 1948 israel spoke russian. I am sick of Palestinian infighting that cannot negotiate a deal. I say give both parties 6 months to solve their problem or the USA solves it for them. Permanently.
    Our leadership needs to grow some stones and stand up for America. Right now I only see tiny grains of sand in our sorry sacks. Get my drift ?

  2. Don't know what it is, but no one dare criticize The apartheid state of Israel when it comes to confiscating Palestinians land and ignoring International Laws.

  3. If the US was serious about getting something worked out, they would cutoff the flow of free money and loan guarantees as well as all military weapons and support, including training…period. Once the Israelis give up their not so cleverly disguised ethnic cleansing and harassment, return the stolen lands to the Palestinians, and cease the building of all settlements on lands the Israelis do not own, then the resumption of money and weapons can be re-negotiated.

  4. Most Americans agree with you, curmudgeonnvt. Tell us how can we
    stop criminality of Israeli Zionists and their agents in the US congress,
    And senate?

  5. […] …read more […]

  6. Stop electing politicians who put Israel first ahead of America's interest. No more money and weapons for Israel.

  7. […] Posted By John Glaser On April 9, 2014 @ 10:42 am In News | 6 Comments […]

  8. Even if Israel neither persecuted Israeli Arabs nor Palestinians, nor commited ethnic cleansing, there would be no need to give them any aid either military or economic because Israel is not a third world nation.

  9. Make Israel our 51st state, then tax the heck out of them and make sure they practice the "diversity" that we do here in the USA. :) Then make Palestine the 52nd state.

  10. It really doesn't matter as Israel will not do any of the points I mention. I completely advocate the total termination of the CONgressional homage being paid to Israel. There is so much more that the money could be used for here in our country.

  11. You are probably right – that is why there never are any definitive polls that honestly gauge American feelings towards pouring money into the land of the psychopathic land thieves. Instead, the blanket statement is made, "America stands with Israel". The Zionists don't want the average American to know that others agree with him – they want the non-Zionist to think that he is standing alone and outside popular opinion.. And this con game will continue until enough Americans are willing to stand up to the abuse that they will get by opposing it.

  12. Just dump Israel. They are friends to themselves only. Everyone else is secondary or less, depending only on how they can be manipulated and used for their own immoral ends.

  13. Yeah, you're right.

    Israel looks at the U.S. the way a dog looks at a lamppost–as something to piss on.

  14. Israel has shown the Americans how it feels & cares for the USA. It did not stand by the USA in the UN for the vote against the Ukraine,concerned for its self & relations with Russia. All the support the USA gives Israel in the Billionsof dollars a year for defense & unconditional support at the UN to help Israel steal the palestinians land & yet Israel can kick the USA in the face with no questions asked. congress cries about support for Israel against so called enemys, because U have let the Israelis control who is voted for. Time the USA people stand up & tell the government they do not want to support this crap anymore

  15. I emphasized that these were former U.S. officials because that seems to be the only time people in government dare utter a perspective contrary to Israel’s right-wing; that is, when domestic politics is no longer a factor. This makes John Kerry’s concurrence unlikely in the extreme.

  16. […] As I’ve noted several times in the past few weeks, that critique rings hypocritical given Israel’s negotiating positions. After all, Secretary of State John Kerry admitted it was Israel’s failure to comply with its […]

  17. […] As I’ve noted several times in the past few weeks, that critique rings hypocritical given Israel’s negotiating positions. After all, Secretary of State John Kerry admitted it was Israel’s failure to comply with its […]